Texans Say N-O to JG

Posted: February 6th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Texans Say N-O to JG

The only real question left for the Eagles coaching staff was whether Houston would hire Jonathan “Call me JG” Gannon to be their head coach. Nothing is official yet, but it sure sounds like he’s out of the running.

This will make Nick Sirianni happy. He gets to keep his staff together.

This won’t make all Eagles fans happy. Gannon’s defense was way too soft at times and couldn’t stop any of the good QBs it went against. Heck, the defense struggled to even slow them down. More than a few fans wanted Gannon to get a new job. Or to get fired.

Instead, JG will be returning for Year 2.

This isn’t the worst thing in the world. Bo Wulf wrote a piece recently on why the return of Gannon would be a good thing.

Still, I’m relatively bullish on his ability to turn things around in year two. At least I think it’s worth waiting for. There’s no guarantee the Eagles will be able to land someone like, say, Mike Zimmer to take the job, and it’s questionable whether that would be the right fit alongside Nick Sirianni. The Eagles seemed to make an organizational commitment to bringing in younger coaches who emphasized “teaching” as they turn over the roster to what they hope is a new, young core.

Sirianni didn’t seem like the type of coach who was going to go hire a big name defensive coordinator. He’s a big believer in culture and would have been more likely to focus on someone he knows. That could have even meant promoting from within.

The return of Gannon tells us the scheme will be the same. There will be new players and I’m sure there will be schematic tweaks. Gannon did learn and adjust during the 2021 season. My biggest complaint is that he was too slow to adjust. He trusted his scheme and players longer than he should have. Still, it is better to have a patient coach than one who panics when things don’t work right away.

In order for the defense to improve, there is a need for a talent upgrade. LB and safety need help. Even with the return of Brandon Graham, the Eagles need pass rushers. CB might need help. That’s a fluid situation.

The defense will also improve if the returning players execute the scheme better in Year 2. Zone coverages require players to see the same things and to make the same reads. Gannon wants to show QBs different looks. In order to do that, he needs to know his players will be in the right spots once the ball is snapped. Beyond being in the right spot, Gannon needs his players to be able to make plays in their roles. That just wasn’t happening enough last year.

Obviously Gannon and the coaches need to improve as well. They need to study what went right and what went wrong. Were they using personnel correctly? What coverages worked best? How can they improve on third downs? In the red zone? On 2-minute drives?

If Gannon does get the Eagles defense to perform better in 2022, he’ll likely be right back in the mix for a head coaching job. The extra year with him will give Sirianni a chance to develop an internal replacement or look around the league to see if there are any outsiders he would have interest in.


Sirianni didn’t make any staff changes. I thought he might replace a coach or two.

I think part of this goes back to the culture point. Andy Reid brought a bunch of well-known coaches in back in 2011. The assistants all had great reputations and backgrounds. That staff did not work as planned and the season was a huge disappointment. All those egos and agendas turned into a big mess.

There is something to be said for sticking with your guys and letting them grow together. The Eagles had a cohesive team and staff in 2021 and that helped them overcome some deficiencies. As we saw in 2017, when you have the right mix of talent and culture, you can do great things.


The Eagles have lost a couple of front office guys (Brown and Ian Cunningham).

This isn’t a huge deal for the upcoming draft. Scouts have already put together their scouting reports. The key decision-makers are still in place. The Eagles will need to find some more smart evaluators to bring onto the staff for the future.




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